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Listings for Xbox Series X and PS5 preorders sold out incredibly quickly, making next-gen gaming one of the hottest items of the holiday season. With all the excitement around the pair of next-gen consoles, you might be asking yourself if you need to shell out for a new TV once you have one of the two. The PS5 and Xbox Series X both support 4K and 120Hz. There aren’t many TVs that feature both a 4K resolution and 120Hz refresh rate, and if you’re reading this article, yours likely doesn’t either.
The simple answer is that a 120Hz-capable TV is not required to enjoy next-gen gaming, but you will see some benefits from having one. Here’s what you need to know about upgrading your TV for next-gen and the best TV for PS5 and Xbox Series X.
In general, you’re going to want a good gaming TV, one with decent input lag or a game mode. You might not be able to beat the input lag of a gaming monitor, but those are usually much smaller.
What’s HDMI 2.1?
If you want a 4K resolution with 120Hz refresh rate and HDR, you’re going to need a TV with an HDMI 2.1 port. This ensures that your TV can accept the speeds afforded by HDMI 2.1 cables–48Gbps–which are what the PS5 and Xbox Series X utilize to transfer video and audio signals to your television. HDMI 2.1 is still relatively new to consumer displays, with only a select few TVs supporting it and no PC monitors currently available on the market that support it–though Asus has announced HDMI 2.1 monitors that should release in the near future.
Two of the benefits that HDMI 2.1 provides to gamers are built-in variable refresh rate (VRR) and low-latency technologies. VRR provides you with a smooth, stutter-less image during gameplay, while Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) provides zero lag between your inputs and the action on-screen.
Can I use the PS5 and Xbox Series X on my HDMI 2.0 TV?
PS5 and Xbox Series X games will play just fine on any TV that has HDMI ports. You’ll only be able to see 4K and 60Hz with HDR like the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro offered, but with only a handful of games taking advantage of 120Hz, an HDMI 2.0 TV will serve you perfectly well for now. At this time, the majority of games are targeting 4K and 60 frames per second, though I’m sure we’ll see a number of different resolutions and frame rates across titles, consoles, and performance modes.
Some of the games that will have 120 FPS modes on the PS5 and Xbox Series X include Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Dirt 5, and Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition as well as previous-gen games like Rainbow Six Siege, Gears 5, and Ori and the Will of the Wisps. That list will likely grow, but as you can see, most of the marquee next-gen titles won’t require a 120Hz TV to see the full slate of benefits.
What about 8K?
The PS5 and Xbox Series X both claim that they’re capable of an 8K resolution, and HDMI 2.1 does support the transfer of 8K and 60Hz. Despite this, I don’t expect these versions of the PS5 and Xbox Series X to provide us with a true 8K resolution in games and a stable frame rate. And while 8K TVs are currently being sold, they are incredibly expensive. Even if you have an exorbitant amount of money to burn, I’d still suggest going with one of the 4K, 120Hz options available and save the rest of your money for the consoles and games themselves.